Show ex­hibits the best of ru­ral life

Alpine Observer - - Myrtleford Show - By JAMIE KRON­BORG

MYRTLE­FORD and District Agri­cul­tural and Pas­toral So­ci­ety’s 70th an­niver­sary Show on Satur­day brimmed with the best of ru­ral life but it seemed there were two stand-outs.

One was the Evans fam­ily’s Illawarra cow, Fanta, from Greta West, who pa­tiently chewed hay and cud in the so­ci­ety’s cat­tle shed while Justin Evans and his young daugh­ter Fair­lie at­tended to the com­pe­ti­tion in the yard out­side.

The Illawarra is the only Aus­tralian- raised breed of dairy cat­tle – the out­come of cross­breed­ing longhorn Durham, shorthorn Durham, red Lin­coln and Ayr­shire cat­tle in the early 19th cen­tury in the farm­ing coun­try above Wol­lon­gong and later in­tro­duc­tions of Guernsey, Jersey and Friesian.

Fanta waited pa­tiently, a fine de­scen­dant of decades of se­lec­tive hus­bandry, and aptly named – her red-brown coat a dis­tinc­tive fea­ture of her breed and her ud­der tes­ta­ment to her moth­er­ing and milk-pro­duc­ing ca­pac­ity.

The other was a dif­fer­ent crea­ture al­to­gether but sim­i­larly im­pres­sive.

Stan­ley poul­try breeder Ron Leary dom­i­nated the show poul­try and budgeri­gar shed with his ex­hibits and top­ping them all was his Stan­ley-raised Buff Or­p­ing­ton rooster.

Not only did this en­trant test the ca­pac­ity of the show cage – the cham­pi­onship rib­bon dis­tin­guished him – but ex­hibits from Billy and Mag­gie Tay­lor, Mr Leary’s grand­chil­dren, showed that poul­try fan­cy­ing might yet have longevity.

The shared gen­er­a­tional ef­fort that brought both cow and rooster to the show was em­blem­atic of that which cre­ates and sus­tains it – an event run en­tirely by vol­un­teers.

So­ci­ety sec­re­tary Lis Mee­han said gate­tak­ings this year were al­most dou­ble last year’s sum.

She said the fi­nal num­bers were still to be tal­lied but there was no doubt that this year’s show crowd was one of the big­gest “for many years”.

Cathy McGowan ( MHR, Indi), wear­ing a trade­mark or­ange jacket and R. M. Williams-brand boots, opened the an­niver­sary event.

The wood-chop fol­lowed, with en­trants tack­ling lath­e­uni­form trunks of rock-hard moun­tain ash with light­ning­sharp ax­e­man­ship but in which un­seen knots proved a chal­lenge for some com­peti­tors.

Wan­garatta Pipe Band en­ter­tained the crowd, Buf­falo River and Myrtle­ford Land­care ad­vo­cate Glenda Janas won the show cake com­pe­ti­tion and the Whorouly Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion’s branch dis­play of felted arts was a draw­card in the hand­i­crafts sec­tion.

Myrtle­ford Fes­ti­val queen Aysha Wheeler judged the show tiny tot and ju­nior en­trants, with Wodonga two-year-old Stella Fin, Wan­garatta’s Ni­cole Ber­talli, Be­nalla’s Bent­ley Saun­ders and Ta­wonga’s Emily Mack­lan among the win­ners.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.